The novel ''Another Country'' and “Miss Jessie Isn’t All There”: Jean Rhys, spaces, and difference

Joseph, Anjali (2012) The novel ''Another Country'' and “Miss Jessie Isn’t All There”: Jean Rhys, spaces, and difference. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

This thesis is presented in two related sections; the first (primary) section is the novel Another Country, and the second, ‘“Miss Jessie Isn’t All There”: Spaces and Difference in Jean Rhys’, consists of an essay addressing the role of spaces in the interwar fiction of Jean Rhys.
Another Country follows Leela, a recent graduate, as she lives in Paris, then London, then Bombay. The cities form a backdrop to a journey through her twenties at the dawn of the new millennium, as she learns to negotiate the world, work, relationships and sex, and find some measure of authenticity. The novel examines ideas of friendship, love, identity, and belonging in its movements through old and new worlds.
“Miss Jessie Isn’t All There”: Jean Rhys, Spaces, and Difference, explores the use of spaces in the interwar fiction of Jean Rhys. Recurring tropes, are discussed,
among them the uniformity of rooms and streets. Rhys’s use of spaces of transition to create a liminal zone in which her protagonists can become stuck between the bourgeois
life they have left, and the demi monde in which they exist is considered with reference to Henri Lefebvre’s terms, ‘spaces of representation’ and ‘representational spaces’. The role of theatre and multiple discourses in the novels to create an ‘unhomely space’ is examined, as is the way this unhomely space introduces into the fiction a new mutability which, rather than representing a simple escape from the European literary tradition, offers a parallel mode and a way of altering the tradition to include a postcolonial experience. The apparent binary opposition in Rhys’s fiction between a present time in Europe and a remembered life in the Caribbean is discussed. Finally, the intrinsic restlessness of her protagonists, and her fiction, is compared to Jacques Derrida’s idea of ‘différance’.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing
Depositing User: Brian Watkins
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2014 15:26
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2014 15:26
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/47820
DOI:

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